Environmentalists Target Cattelan’s “El Dedo” in Milan with Paint
Activists arrested for vandalising famous sculpture in Milan
According to the Italian Police, three young activists were arrested on Sunday for throwing several cans of washable yellow paint at the base of the famous sculpture in Affari square in Milan. The sculpture, by artist Maurizio Cattelan, commonly referred to as “El Dedo”, depicts a hand with only the middle finger raised.
The activists also unfurled a banner with the phrase “Stop fossil fuels and against the Italian banks that finance the current system of energy”. This environmental action group is known to have staged several similar events in the past including one against the façade of the La Scala theater in Milan and more recently against the Senate headquarters in Rome.
The sculpture, labelled by Cattelan as “LOVE” (standing for Freedom, Hate, Revenge and Eternity) was placed in 2010 in front of the Milan Stock Exchange which sparked controversy. However, the cultural councillor of Milan, Stefano Boeri, decided to keep it there in 2012.
The vandalism was strongly condemned by the leader of the League and Minister of Transport, Matteo Salvini, who stated: “These pseudo-environmentalists vandalized another work of art in Milan: these are not environmentalists, they are vandals who deserve to go to jail”.
The three activists were taken to the police station for identification and possible complaint. The exact charges remain unknown.